Leaders must rely on courage to lead. Courage is about being bold and fearless when influencing people toward the vision. The courageous leader bravely leads the team toward a better tomorrow. Samuel Johnson said, “Courage is the greatest of all virtues, because if you haven’t courage, you may not have an opportunity to use any of the others.” Great things happen when you are leading with courage: You achieve increased results, create breakthrough products or services, increase in productivity, and your example spreads to other people. These things happen all because of your courage. Courage is a driving force behind successful leadership. Here are three ways to increase your courage:
1. Raise your self-esteem
One of the greatest battles in leadership is trusting and respecting yourself. Self-esteem is about respecting, believing in, and valuing the person in the mirror, yourself. You can raise your self-esteem level when you watch what you speak and think about, both to yourself and out loud.
Begin to speak and think about the good or positive aspects of yourself and life. At the same time delete or avoid the bad, self-defeating, or negative words or thoughts. Small shifts toward good words and thoughts can make a huge difference in your self-esteem. Soon you will find yourself speaking out and thinking about self-esteem raising word or thoughts most of the time. When you have high self-esteem it produces courage.
2. Start moving outside your comfort zone
You can increase your courage when you frequently step outside your normal routine or your comfort zone and do something you normally would not do. Find new activities or tasks you can participate in that will stretch you. Why not swim with sharks, go sky diving, or drive a sports car around a race track. If you want a less adrenaline producing activity why not start with eating at a restaurant with foreign or unique food, join a class or recreational activity, or explore around your city. These suggestions can really increase your courage over time.
3. Face the fear
Fear has been described as: “False evidence appearing real”. You should acknowledge your fear but not let it rule your life or decisions. When it comes to fear the best option is to face the fear with action. Only when you do the things you fear will the grip of fear be released. After doing what you fear you will be surprised that you had the fear in the first place.
Of course you have to be smart. It does not mean you should blindly take action on your fears. You should evaluate the fear, calculate the risks, gather the facts, then if everything feels and looks right then take action or do the thing you fear. At times this will be a quick in the moment decision and other times it will take longer to determine.
Questions: How has courage helped you in your leadership role? How do you increase and maintain your courage?
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